TRANSCENDENCE VEGAN AYURVEDIC TIKKA MASALA

Updated: Jan 14

This rich, creamy dish is a great support for you on your spiritual journey of transcendence. I love the power of transcendence that applying and embodying your spirituality gives you.


The spiritual journey is all about improving the quality and reducing the quantity of your desires. We do not give up anything, we simply take up something higher. To take up higher ideals in life, we have to transcend lower emotions like fear. Not suppress it. But go beyond it, with the gift of knowledge that supports and empowers true transcendence.


Only when you know that you are more than your body, that who you are goes beyond your mind, can you really overcome fear. According to Ayurveda's ancient food wisdom, there are foods that can increase your fear, as well as anger and agitation, and foods that can actually help you feel calm even in the face of fear, frustration, grief and 'all the feels.'


This transcendental dish is a special one to support you to go beyond any negative emotions to connect with the eternal, spiritual part of you, your true Self.


It is also a perfect transitional dish for anyone who currently loves dishes like the famed chicken tikka masala(!), but wishes to benefit from all the physical and mental health benefits of not consuming meat and dairy.


The creaminess of this dish comes from its use of coconut milk and cashews. It's decadent, nourishing, satisfying and the perfect meal for the winter season when Ayurveda encourages eating like a squirrel, gathering nourishment and strength to support your body all year long.


Serves 4.


MARINATED TOFU INGREDIENTS:

TIKKA MASALA INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 1 teaspoon kalonji seeds

  • 1 teaspoon hing

  • 2 teaspoons garam masala* (see recipe below)

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric powder

  • 1 1/4 teaspoon pink rock salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon cooling pungent masala** (see recipe below)

  • 1 cup coconut milk

  • 1 cup sweet heirloom tomatoes, diced

  • 1 tablespoon jaggery

  • 5 cups cauliflower, cut into large florets

TOMATO CASHEW CREAM INGREDIENTS:

  • 3/4 cup cashews

  • 3/4 cup almond or coconut milk

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 1 cup sweet heirloom tomatoes, diced

  • 1/4 teaspoon pink rock salt


*Garam masala is a richly flavorful spice blend you can make to get the satisfaction of traditional garam masala without the acidity and other heat related issues (like shingles, acne, rashes, etc.) associated with very pungent, hot spices.

Blend together:


**Cooling pungent masala is an amazing recipe from Divya Alter in her wonderful book "What To Eat for How You Feel." It's a way to have black pepper without getting heated by it.


Blend together:

  • 4 tsp fennel seeds

  • 4 tsp coriander seeds

  • 1 tsp black peppercorns

  • 1 tsp Sucanat, organic cane sugar, coconut sugar, or your favorite sugar substitute

METHOD:

  1. MARINATE THE TOFU: drain tofu and soak cashews in hot boiling water. Cut drained tofu into cubes. Mix 1/3 cup coconut milk (save the rest for the tikka masala). Place the coconut milk in a medium size bowl. Mix in cumin, garam masala, turmeric and salt until it's smooth. Stir in the tofu until it is well coated with the marinade. You can put the marinated tofu into the refrigerator while you make the tikka masala.

  2. MAKE THE TIKKA MASALA: select Saute on an Instant Pot. Add coconut oil, followed by cumin seeds, kalonji seeds and hing. Next, add garam masala, coriander, turmeric, salt and cooling pungent masala. Add coconut milk, tomatoes and jaggery. Stir to combine everything well. Top the mixture with cauliflower florets. Take the marinated tofu out of the refrigerator and add the tofu on top of the cauliflower. Make sure you don't stir at this point, so the tofu can sit on the top of all the ingredients.

  3. PRESSURE COOK RECIPE: select Pressure cook at 3 minutes.

  4. MAKE CASHEW CREAM: add all ingredients to a blender and puree until it is all smooth.

  5. Once the timer has completed 3 minutes, do a quick pressure release by moving the Pressure Release knob from Sealing to Venting.

  6. Open the pot and add the TOMATO CASHEW SAUCE. Stir everything together. For a thicker sauce, you can select the saute and bring everything to boil until the sauce gets as thick as you like.

  7. Stir in lemon juice and serve with cilantro or parsley for garnish, with white basmati rice, roti or tortillas.

Take a silent moment before you eat the first bite of this rich, delicious dish to connect with the power you have to transcend any negative emotion you may be experiencing in the moment or generally struggling with. As you acknowledge your spiritual power, this power increases, and your food will even further support you on your journey of transcendence.


To learn how to make more delicious recipes like this, and to learn how to design your own Ayurveda lifestyle, in harmony with the rhythms of nature, join The Ancient Way's Wellness Ambassador Program starting February 20th, 2021, to spread the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda in your community.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ANANTA RIPA AJMERA is founder and CEO of The Ancient Way and Director of Ayurveda at THE WELL, a modern wellness club that brings together world-class doctors and master healers for a more balanced you. She is author of The Ayurveda Way, a compilation of 108 simple, doable practices for better sleep, less stress, optimal digestion and more.


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